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1941 Pictorial Map of the United States

America the Wonderland. A Pictorial Map of the United States. Designed and Drawn by Ernest Dudley Chase of Winchester, Mass. - Main View

1941 Pictorial Map of the United States


Patriotic Pictorial Map of the United States.


America the Wonderland. A Pictorial Map of the United States. Designed and Drawn by Ernest Dudley Chase of Winchester, Mass.
  1941 (dated)     20.75 x 27.75 in (52.705 x 70.485 cm)     1 : 1237957


This is a 1941 Ernest Dudley Chase pictorial map of the continental United States. Pictorial 'icons' fill the country from coast to coast and highlight American industry, culture, natural wonders, and resources.
A Closer Look
Each state's capitol building marks the state capital and banners mark cities and towns across each state. Wildlife including bison, bighorn sheep, bears, and deer appear alongside livestock. National parks merit lavish illustrations, including the Grand Canyon, Arches, Yellowstone, Grand Teton, Yosemite, and Mt. Rainier. Fifty-two vignettes encircle the map and continue the appreciation for the United States' natural beauty as well as its architectural and cultural achievements, such as the Lincoln Memorial, Rockefeller Center, and the Field Museum.
20th Century Pictorial Cartography
Pictorial qualities have been common in cartography from at least from the 16th century, when publishers like Braun and Hogenberg incorporated view-like qualities and other pictorial elements into their famous city plans. Braun and Hogenberg, and similar cartographers, issued their town books to express, not necessarily the geography of their subjects, but rather the 'essence' of the town/city. As mathematics and surveying principles became more advanced, travel increased, and the ability to translate 2 dimensional cartographic perspectives into an understanding of the actual world became commonplace, maps themselves transformed. This trend is a recognizable progression that evolved cartographic conventions from the 17th to the 19th centuries. By the late 19th century most maps had become geographical tools that illustrated the region cartographically but failed in the original raison d'ĂȘtre as expressed by Braun and Hogenberg, to illustrate a place's 'essence'. So, where a city map of 19th century Paris might provide a completely navigable presentation of the city, one could glean almost nothing of Paris' character from it. In the late 18th century, the first modern 'pictorial' style maps developed. These maps, like Tomas Lopez's 1788 map of Seville, attempted to provide both cartographic accuracy and pictorial elements that might convey the character of the city. In that case, Lopez incorporated pictorial vignettes to illustrate important buildings and monuments. This style became increasingly common throughout the 19th century and early 20th centuries, particularly for centers of commerce like London, Paris, and Rome, where they are often mass produced and referred to as 'monumental' maps. The style further evolved in the early to mid-20th century, when revolutionary cartographers and illustrators like MacDonald Gill, Jo Mora, Frank Dorn, Ernest Dudley Chase, and many others, combined vignette style illustrations, modern printing techniques, inspiration from Japanese printmaking and manga, and from clever satirical cartographers/artists like Fred Rose, to produce maps that once again focused on revealing the essence a place, usually, but not always, at the sacrifice of cartographic precision.
Publication History and Census
This map was created and published by Ernest Dudley Chase in 1941. We note twelve examples in institutional collections and examples of different editions with varying color palettes appear on the market from time to time.


Ernest Dudley Chase (1878-1966) was an American illustrator of greeting cards and pictorial maps active in the first half of the 20th century. From his studio in Winchester Massachusetts, Chase became famous for his elaborately illustrated pictorial maps. He was born in Lowell Massachusetts and attended the Lowell Textile School and the Vesper George Art School. He took work with Butterfield Printing Company in 1900. In 1906 he moved to the W. T. Sheehan Printing Firm. He began producing postcards and greeting cards on his own account in 1908. This initial imprint was Des Arts Publishers, but later he changed it to Ernest Dudley Chase Publishers. Chase is best known today for his distinctive pictorial maps, most of which he published privately, characterized by densely packed vignette images of important locations. The biographical pamphlet A Meticulous Maker of Maps describes Chase's attention to detail wherein, pursuing a 'passion for perfection' by stippling his images 'dot-by-dot, with tiny pens' under a magnifying glass. His impressive corpus includes nearly 50 maps focusing various parts of the United States and Europe. Most are thematic, focusing on topics such as wonders of the world, stamps, aviation, and war. Others, such as his map of The United States as viewed by California and Loveland are satirical in nature. All are highly coveted by collectors today. Learn More...


Very good. Marginal mend at bottom and left. Lower left corner mended with no impact on image.


cf. Rumsey 7949.000. OCLC 41133713.